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2024 NFL trade rumors: Patriots likely to deal Mac Jones after OC interviews centered on QB draft prospects

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Jerod Mayo promised the New England Patriots will “burn some cash” in his first offseason as the team’s head coach. He and the Patriots could also burn some bridges at quarterback, after Mayo’s offensive coordinator interviews centered around top 2024 draft prospects at the position, per NFL Media, leaving 2021 first-rounder Mac Jones as a likely trade candidate.

“The Patriots sit at No. 3 [overall], and all indications are they will seriously consider taking a quarterback there,” Tom Pelissero reported Sunday. “In fact, one of the big questions when they were interviewing offensive coordinator candidates was, ‘What is your evaluation of those top quarterbacks?’ They end up hiring Alex Van Pelt, who’s gonna play a major role in developing whoever that young quarterback could be.”

One thing seems for certain: It won’t be Jones, who went 15th overall in 2021. Despite earning a Pro Bowl nod as a rookie starter, Jones regressed between injuries and demotions from 2022-2023, and Mayo hinted shortly after replacing Bill Belichick as head coach this offseason that the locker room was divided over Jones’ standing atop the QB depth chart.

In the event New England can’t find a suitor for Jones on the trade market, the Patriots could also outright cut the Alabama product without negatively impacting their 2024 salary cap. As for potential early-round draft targets, USC’s Caleb Williams, North Carolina’s Drake Maye and LSU’s Jayden Daniels all profile as potential Day 1 possibilities for New England.

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